Conference to Tackle Foster-Care Issues

            The number of children in foster care in Indiana continues to increase, and that topic will be addressed next week during the 2017 Because Kids Count conference in downtown Indianapolis. A former foster child turned advocate is one of the keynote speakers. Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent much of her childhood in foster care, and now is a parent to foster children herself. She’s also written two books on the topic and started the Foundation for Sustainable Families. She says there’s a misconception about who can become a foster parent. It’s not based on wealth, education or age. She says it takes patience and understanding, but adds kids just need someone to be a good role model and provide some stability in their lives.  She says “true key to resiliency is having that one person in your life to direct you in a positive way I was so lucky that I had a few teachers who were amazingly encouraging and gave me really positive vibes. I found school to be such a sanctuary for me.”

       Indiana has about 25-thousand children in foster care. The Department of Child Services (DCS) says the problem is intensifying because of the state’s drug epidemic, with the majority of kids being removed from their homes because of abusive neglect